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Food | Giving plasma? Boost iron levels with this marinated skirt steak recipe

skirt steak for dinner

Recipe to help boost iron levels, aid plasma donation recovery

Family Feature -- Chef Nate Appleman knows how important it is to serve healthy meals to your family - ones they actually want to eat. Before having his first child, he transformed his eating and exercise habits and lost 85 pounds to get on a healthier path.

Now, he's cooking meals for his family, including 14-year-old Oliver who was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease as a toddler - an inflammation of the blood vessels that can cause damage to coronary arteries - as a healthy lifestyle is important to help manage the disease. Since Oliver's diagnosis, Appleman made it his personal mission to create awareness of Kawasaki Disease and for the critical need for plasma donations that many people with the disease rely on for treatment, which is why he partnered with Abbott to bring attention to the need for plasma donations.

Plasma is a powerful part of your blood that supports essential bodily functions. It's a lifeline for thousands of people who are immune-compromised and live with a variety of chronic and complex diseases. In fact, more than 125,000 Americans rely on medication made from plasma every day, according to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA).

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a serious shortage of plasma donors - average donations per center in the United States were down approximately 11% during the first few months of 2021 compared to the previous year, further deepening the nearly 20% decline in donations in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the PPTA.

Donating plasma is a safe and relatively easy process. Since plasma is replaced in the body within about 24 hours, it can be donated up to twice per week. With a donation that typically takes between 1-3 hours, you can make a lasting impact by providing lifesaving medicine for patients like Oliver.

It's a good idea to fuel up with iron-rich foods before and after donating, so Appleman created these fresh, nutritious recipes he loves to serve his family: Marinated Skirt Steak (see recipe below), Lemon Chicken with Roasted Red Onions and Potatoes, and Cheesy Frittata with Veggies.

Learn where you can donate at bethe1donor.abbott.

Marinated Skirt Steak


Recipe courtesy of chef Nate Appleman on behalf of Abbott

Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small Thai bird chile or serrano chile, chopped
  • 1/4 head finely shaved green cabbage
  • 1/4 head finely shaved purple cabbage
  • 2 carrots, thinly julienned
  • Skirt steak:

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed skirt steak
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 lime, quartered, for garnish
  • To make vinaigrette: In large bowl, mix oil, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and chile. Toss cabbage and carrots in vinaigrette; refrigerate until ready to serve. To make skirt steak: Marinate steak in coconut milk, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, sriracha and salt, to taste, at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours. Heat grill to high. Grill 3-4 minutes each side until medium rare. Let rest 3 minutes. Thinly slice steaks against grain and serve with vinaigrette, rice and crushed peanuts; garnish with lime wedges.

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